“Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away.” (Hebrews 2:1)
Am I drifting? Am I being proactive in my pursuit of the things of the kingdom, or am I just drifting along? A response to this question for some might be: “Well, you know, I’m not doing anything bad, I’m still going to church every once in a while. I’m not backsliding, I’m still a Christian. I still read my Bible occasionally, I’m OK.”
Consider, that no one sailing a boat ever says to themselves, “I think I’ll point the ship in the direction of those rocks over there.” No, of course not. But letting the ship just drift with the current has the same end result. Shipwreck. That is why the Bible says we must contend earnestly for the faith.
The danger of drifting is that it just doesn’t happen overnight. There is no perceivable change of direction, and no impending sense of danger, but the ultimate consequences of drifting are the same as a drastic change in direction nevertheless.
How can I be sure I am not falling away from God?
The Bible says, “we must give the more earnest heed.”
The English expression, “more earnest heed,” comes from two Greek words.
prosechō = pay attention to, be cautious about, apply oneself to, adhere to
perissoterōs = more superabundantly: and is translated variously as - more abundant (-ly), the more earnest, (more) exceedingly, more frequent, much more, the rather.
It’s easy to let things slip, and just drift through life with a “que sera sera” attitude. “Whatever.”
We can see from the combination of these two Greek words that the writer of Hebrews is exhorting his readers not to backslide or take anything for granted, but to apply oneself to pursuing the things of the kingdom with diligence. (Read the definition of those two words again.)
Bob Dylan in his song, “I believe in you,” wrote the beautiful line:
“Don’t let me drift too far, keep me where you are, where I will always be renewed.”
Don’t let me drift too far! It is when we are in relationship with other believers that we can look after each other and encourage one another in our walk with the Lord. Which is why the Bible talks about, “not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner (or habit) of some.” (Heb. 10:25)
It takes time for something to become a habit. No one wakes up one morning and says, “OK, from now on I’m going to backslide and I’m not going to church or read my Bible anymore.” They simply get casual about attendance, and they miss a meeting here, and miss one there, and before you know, what used to be a habit of going to church, has now become a habit of not going. What used to be a habit of reading their Bible has now become a habit of clearing their emails instead. Sometimes people need reminding, because we easily drift from good habits into bad ones.
Peter says, “Therefore I will not be negligent to remind you of these things, though you know them, and are established in them.” (2Peter 1:12)
The writer of Jude said, “I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith.” (Jude 3)
We live in a culture of “everything will be OK”, but let’s not be like those who wake up one morning only to discover we have been robbed.
My house was burgled once. If I had known at what hour the burglar was going to come, I would have been vigilant and would not have allowed my house to be broken into. I would have maintained watch. I would have been prepared. I can assure you, we are very diligent now about locking the house before we leave. We have installed an alarm system, and we are very careful to keep the batteries charged, and everyone is given strict instructions about setting the alarm before they leave the house unattended. “Yes, yes, we know, we’ve heard it all before” the kids say. But that doesn’t stop me from reminding them.
“Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize. So run, that you may obtain. And every man that strives for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown, but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so I fight, not as one that merely beats the air: but I keep my body under and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.” (1Cor. 9:24 – 27)
Am I still in the race, or am I on the side-line watching everyone else running? Am I being proactive in my pursuit of the kingdom? Is it still a treasure to me? Is it still my pearl of great price? Have I set my course, and am I pressing towards the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus …… or am I ….. just drifting?
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